PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. —The Prairie Village Police Department will soon add its first K-9 to the force.
Officer Overesch has been selected as the K-9 handler for the department. Overesch will attend a training course and select the first K-9 in September.
Division Commander Captain Ivan Washington said it will cost the department roughly $20,000 to obtain and train the dog and provide it with a safety vest.
The K-9 will be trained to search for people and for narcotics, but officers are hoping the dog will also give them an opportunity to connect with people in the community.
“The purpose of the K-9 unit is to provide opportunities not necessarily for the officers, but the community. It gives us an opportunity to provide resources or outlets for us to interact with the community in a positive way,” Washington said.
“It’s safer for the community. It gives us options to keep officers safe and hopefully give officers tools to be successful.”
The police department has not selected which breed of dog will fill the K-9 role. Washington said the goal is to have the dog trained and ready for service by the end of the year.
Once the dog is trained, the K-9 unit will be used for active investigations, as well as community outreach. The K-9 will present at community events like VillageFest and Jazzfest and will participate in the department’s Coffee with a Cop program.